Sunday, July 6, 2014

Flap Front Double Zip Pouch Shoulder Bag Tutorial

Pin ItWheww. I couldn't think of a good name for this bag so it is a mouthful, but I've been pinterest stalking all those terms together and figured it would help some other person with a specific bag in mind. 


When I was bag stalking for ideas, I came across the Celine trio bag which seemed perfect because it would allow me to carry all my essential but force me to seperate my important essentials from my less than necessary essentials, read junk. I also thought I'd forgot the extra pouch for the kitchen sink and just go with two instead to keep it orderly.

Geneva from A Pair & a Spare whipped up a Celine trio bag inspired tutorial as well using store bought zip pouches and some snap buttons. I was worried the amount of stuff I'd be lugging around would be too heavy for the snap buttons so I opted for a rivet stud instead. I could've sewn through six layers of canvas but I value my eyes and didn't want my sewing machine to spit half a broken needle back into it. 

I added a pouch to the front for my phone so I'd be able to sneak my hand under the flap to retrieve it one handed without having to use said second hand to unzip the pouch. 

This is basically a tutorial for two zip pouches with a flap secured together with a rivet that makes a very cute and functional bag. 

What you'll need

  • Exterior fabric 
    • 4 x rectangles for pouches [7" (width) x 6" (height)]
      • I used a different exterior fabric for each pouch because I couldn't decide which I liked best but I'm sure most people are less indecisive than I am
    • 1 x rectangle for front pocket [7" (width) x 4.5" (height)]
    • 1 x rectangle for bag strap [52" (length) x 4" (height)]
    • 4 x zip ends [1.5" x 1.5"]
  • Interior fabric
    • 4 x rectangles for lining pouches [7" (width) x 6" (height)]
    • 1 x rectangle for front pocket lining [7" (width) x 4.5" (height)] 
  • Notions + other things
    • Iron on interfacing for flap - cut flap template 0.5" smaller around the edges
    • 2 rivets 
    • 2 x 7" zip 
    • 1 x magnetic snap

What to do
* please excuse the poor quality iphone photos, was testing it out but my old point and shoot digital is definitely better 

Grab the fabric for you bag strap and pop it on the ironing board. You'll need to iron the whole thing in half length ways. Then fold in both sides towards the ironed creased.

Then fold in half lengthwise again and give it all another good iron . 

Grab the fabric for you flap. Iron it in half and iron the interfacing for the flap onto one of the sides.

Sew around the flap leaving an gap along the side to turn it through. Sew with an 0.25" seam allowance. 
Grab a scrap bit of interfacing and iron on at the midway point at the base of the flap to reinforce the fabric. 
Using the washer for the magnetic snap, mark the two vertical slits. 

Using a seam ripper open up both the vertical slits. Make sure you have not accidently caught the other side of the flap.

I prefer to sew the flap before adding in the magnetic snap as the sewing machine foot is metal and the magnetic snap can make it difficult to sew a narrow seam allowance. 

Squeeze your hand through the side opening to get the magnetic snap down and in through the slits. 

Use a pair of pliers to fold the prongs inwards (I have tried folding them outwards once but found that the ends of the prongs wore down on the fabric and eventually poked through).

Turn the flap inside out through the gap. Grab a needle and thread to slip stitch the opening closed. 

Give it a good iron and set it aside. 

Trim both zippers down to 6.5". Use pliers to pull out the zip stop. If you cut too close to the zip stop you often end up trying to sew through it and end up with a broken needle, this I have learnt through very violent needle spits from the sewing machine. 

Grab the zip end fabric and iron it down on both sides by 0.25". Iron in half and wrap it around the zip end. 

Sew across the zip end. Repeat for other side and zipper. 

This is what the zipper should look like once the zip tabs are attached. 

Place the zipper on the lining and pop the exterior fabric on top. Centre the zipper about 0.25" from the edge. Make sure when you sew up the zip pouch that you do not catch the edge of the zipper tab or you won't get nice square edges. 

Sew the zip in place using lots of pins. I find it easier to 3/4 unzip the zipper and sew until I hit the tab and then lift the foot and zip the zipper back up before continuing.

With your zipper secured in place it should look like this flipped over. Fold the lining under the exterior fabric as it will be when it is finished and pop a pin in the middle somewhere to hold it together.

Flip the zip pouch around and again sandwich the lining, zip, exterior. 

This is what the near complete zip pouch will look like. 

Match the exterior and lining fabrics to each other and sew them together with a 0.25" seam, remember to leave a gap to turn the whole pouch through at the base of the lining. Remember not to catch the zip tabs when sewing the pouch, leave the zip half unzipped and push the zipper teeth towards the lining.

Pull the pouch through the gap. Iron, fold and sew the gap shut. 

The pouch ends are nicely formed with this zip tab method.

Grab the exterior and lining fabrics for the pocket. Face them right sides together and sew along the top with a 0.25" seam allowance.

Attach the pocket to the exterior pouch fabric, leave a gap along the middle bottom to sneak the magnetic snap into. 

Baste the top of the flap to the top of the exterior pouch/pocket fabric. Now the magnetic snap for the flap should line up with where it's partner needs to go. X marks the spot. 

I prefer this method of sneaking the snap in so I know it will line up exactly. Use the washer to mark where the two slits need to be and as above use a seam ripper to open them up.

Use a spare bit of interfacing to protect the fabric inside along with the washer when securing the magnetic snap. Then proceed with making the zip pouch exactly as before. I would recommend using more pins when attaching the zipper because of the added thickness of the flap.

You should have two zip pouches - one with a flap and one without. If you wanted you could make both with a flap and make it double sided in that way. You'll need to grab your strap and some rivets to attach it all together. A leather hole punch is also a good idea to get through all the layers. Just need a hard surface and a hammer to attach them all. You could deinitely attempt to sew through the layers, very very slowly or alternatively hand sew them together. If you need help with rivet insert I have a tutorial here. Or you could attach eyelets to each bag seperately and thread the straps through and rivet them together or even knot them.

A quick and easy sling bag from two zip pouches with endless variation and possibilities. 

Happy Crafting! 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Papavero dress pattern review

Pin ItSo I finally did get that tripod I was talking about, the one I thought would enable me to blog more. So here's to hoping. It's an old tripod of my father's from the 90's - it has a spirit level and everything. Even though I couldn't figure out how to get my new fangled digital camera to sit in it, it did sit on the top precariously balanced which means I was still able to get some pretty decent shots, especially considering that Russell was cautiously sniffing at it and potentially going to charge at this new strange contraption invading his garden.

This dress is fast becoming a favourite for comfort reasons - it looks good belted and makes a nice cutout, but on the frequent occasion I eat more than I should I can remove the belt and relax in comfort. I used a free dress pattern from Papavero. Google translate tells me it's a Polish website. It's not too difficult to navigate but does require you to sign up to download the free patterns. Sometimes with the different patterns there are user's photo versions of the completed product at the bottom. This dress is the "Ready cut - dress without a hood". 

Unbelted it has the look of a Homer Simpson muumuu

For a pattern with only pattern pieces this was easy enough to put together. There was a front and back piece cut on the fold, a side insert, sleeves and facings. There was a weird piece I remembered that was the same shape as the side insert but 2/3s as long, I couldn't figure out what it was for but ended up extending the armhole facings to fit the armhole and scrapped that piece altogether. I also drafted my own cap sleeves for this dress and added inseam pockets.

I finished the dress with an invisible zip at the back.  The pattern was a print at home pdf pattern which I like because it saves me tracing the flimsy tissue paper patterns to paper before then tracing to fabric. The print options are per size so you need to check their sizing chart, but this is one of the few dress I've cut straight off that fit really well.

And this is Russell after deciding the tripod was not an enemy, maybe a plaything, possibly a friend and deciding he'd much rather be in the photo with me than fighting the unknown. There are a bunch of photos with his tail or nose poking in, and horrible ones of me trying not to laugh as he head butts my butt or licks my hand.

Sadly I missed Me Made May this year. I did wear as many of my me made items as possible but didn't get around to document it. I think a month worth of hospital bathroom mirror shots would've turned most people off. I actually don't know where all the time has gone. Suddenly I'm nearly halfway through my internship and have to apply for jobs all over again. I feel like I've just got this one and would like to focus on working but alas I've now got to pimp my CV and think of clever ways of incorporating hospital values into a gazillion and a half cover letters. Wish me luck.

Happy Crafting

Saturday, April 5, 2014

New Look 6123

Pin ItI'm thinking I need to get a tripod and a camera remote if I'm ever to blog regularly. I've a backlog of things to blog about but everytime I seem to try and take photos they never work out. Luckily today the weather was good and I was able to rope one of my friends who was visiting to help me. 

I've just started my general medicine rotation and was able to finish this dress off during my half day. I finished my emergency medicine rotation about two weeks ago, and promptly caught gastroenteritis requiring hospitalisation thereafter; but I'm better now and have boundless empathy for my patients. 

I had to make a few adjustments to this dress as it was clearly made with a taller person in mind. I did however manage to keep the darts on the bodice and the skirt aligned which always makes it look that much nicer. I'm trying a new thing where I keep a notebook of my pattern alterations so I know for next time what I need to do. I'll probably do a muslin of my new bodice once I copy those edits onto my paper pattern piece. I know some people aren't a fan of pdf patterns, but since I already copy my tissue patterns to paper before  transferring them to fabric, pdf patterns reduce a lot of prep time. 

I had to change from a 20 inch invisible zip to a 24 inch normal zip for the back so I'd be able to fit the dress over my booty. Also my kick pleat is getting a lot of use clearly, I promise I did iron it before I wore it ... yesterday, before a full day of work. 

I bagged and lined my dress instead of using facings as I used broadcloth fabric which is a bit on the sheer side in sunlight. I also had to hand stitch the sleeves in to set them. I ended up tucking the bottom of the sleeves in, instead of leaving them out, flap like as per the original pattern.

Pattern Description: 2 in 1 pattern, sheath dress and wrap front dress, with additional ruffle front details.

Pattern Sizing: 8 - 18  

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yep  

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't follow the instructions but they were organised in an easy to understand manner.  

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The smallest pattern size was an 8 and was too big on me. The dress required a few alterations so I wouldn't recommend it beginners. I like the style and fit of the dress. 

Fabric Used: Broadcloth and rayon lining.  

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I changed the sleeve style but used the same flange pattern by tucking the ends of the flange in to the bodice. I also bagged and lined the dress instead of using facings using this tutorial ( I took in the bodice darts 0.5 inch each. Took in the sides of the bodice 1 inch each. Took the bodice up by 2 inches and took 2 inches from the top of the skirt. I also added in side seam pockets.  

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I'm definitely planning on sewing this dress again. It's a great work dress and would recommend it to others. 

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hiccuping Chiffon Cakes

Pin ItSo I probably haven't had chiffon cake for years. My mum used to buy them from the Asian grocery store when I was younger and I used to love the odd colour and the texture.

Last year I was looking for something to bake mum for mother's day and stumbled upon this pandan chiffon cake recipe by The Little Teochew and it was amazing.

The only thing is I never know what  to do with a whole can of coconut milk once I've opened it, so this time I made 3 pandan chiffon cakes in a go to solve that problem. 

Don't worry, I did give some of them away and not eat them all myself. But I still did get hiccups. I pretty much always get hiccups when I eat pandan chiffon cake, and it's basically due to my greedy nature, the cakes are so soft and fluffy, and I inevitably cut a larger-than-decent-for-a-single-person-slice and eat it to quickly, thus the hiccups. So as long a you're pacing yourself you'll be ok. Definitely worth the hiccups if you don't though.

22-cm chiffon cake tin, mine's aluminum (you need a fluted cake pan that's NOT non-stick; i.e. chiffon cake forms it's skin by sticking to the pan and in a non-stick pan it just won't work) 
Check out my ombre cast iron pot (it was 85% off RRP)
Ingredients A
- 7 egg yolks
- 75g coconut milk
- 4g pandan essence/ concentrated fresh pandan extract
- 150g cake flour (low gluten flour) - found in Asian groceries stores

- 4g baking powder (1 scant tsp)
- 75g caster sugar
- 3g salt
- 83g vegetable oil

Ingredients B
- 7 egg whites
- 100 g sugar

I separate my eggs one by one by using a smaller bowl before transferring the egg white into the bowl that will be used for whipping the whites, just in case I need to rescue egg shells pieces from the whites 

1. Preheat oven to 160°C fanforced.

2. Combine egg yolks, coconut milk and pandan extract in a mixing bowl. Double sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture and sugar into the bowl. Add vegetable oil and whisk everything to combine.

3. In a separate and clean bowl, beat egg whites and sugar together till it forms soft peaks.

4. Slowly fold egg white into egg yolk mixture in 3-4 additions.

** a glass bowl is best for folding the mixture into as you can see how well you are doing

5. Pour cake mixture into an ungreased tube pan.

6. Bake for 45 minutes.


7. Flip the pan upside down against a bottle on kitchen counter and let cool for 25-30 minutes/until the pan is warm to touch without a mitt. If your pan has feet you won't need a bottle. 

8. Using a butter knife flatten it between the side of the cake and the tin and run it all the way around. Loosen the outer ring of the chiffon pan. Now use the knife to loosen the base of the cake pan from the cake. 


Orange Chiffon Cake

I also made an orange chiffon cake as per Rasa Malaysia's recipe, which was a bit different to my tried and true pandan chiffon recipe but it still worked out really well.

The key difference was that the egg whites had to be whipped to stiff peaks and it rose a lot more than the pandan chiffon.  



7 Egg yolks
50g (¼ cup) Caster sugar
¼ tsp salt
4 Tbsp Cooking oil
2 Tbsp Grated orange rind (about two oranges worth)
60ml (4 Tbsp) Orange juice
110g (4 oz) Cake flour (low gluten flour)

7 Egg whites
1 tsp lemon juice
130g (2/3 cup) Caster sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 160C/325F.
  2. To make egg yolk batter, beat egg yolks with sugar till pale, then add in salt and oil, mix briefly till looks like mayonnaise.
  3. Add in grated orange rind, orange juice and orange colouring (I omitted) and mix well. Fold in sieved flour until forms batter.
  4. To make egg white foam, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until mixture forms soft peaks. Gradually add in sugar, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  5. Gently fold beaten egg white foam into egg yolk batter in 3 batches until fully combined. (Do not overmix)
  6. Pour batter into ungreased tube pan.
  7. Bake in preheated oven 50 minute.
  8. Immediately upon removing the cake from the oven invert the pan (turn upside down) and place on a bottle or flat surface so it is suspended over the counter. Let cool completely before removing the cake from pan.
  9. To remove cake from pan, run a thin bladed knife or a palette knife around the side of the pan and center core, release the cake and run the knife along the base of the pan to remove cake.